Thursday, March 29, 2007

how lazy am I?

It's final critique for my Advanced Ceramics class, which means potluck time! The kid and I were in Los Gatos Tuesday, so we made our first visit to Icing on the Cake. We had some tasty snacks and bought a roll of pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough destined for the potluck.*

Baked the cookies this morning. They are nice, plump and not overly sweet. My only complaint is I was told their dough is good 10 days after preparation. At home I noticed the expiration date for the dough is Friday. They could have sold me newer product for $12+ per roll!

* My Sabra Veggie Liver and pita chips were not a hit last quarter.

Icing on the Cake
50 W. Main Street
Los Gatos, CA 95030

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

mollie's stoned

Found a couple of interesting items in Mollie Stone's refrigerated section. Sabra - maker of yummy hummus, veggie liver, pickles and the like has "To Go" single use containers with crackers.

Homemade Baby is organic mush for parents too lazy to mash a banana or cook a fruit/veggy in the oven until mushy. They even have their foods broken into three age groups and textures.

I find the need for this product offensive. Been there, making your own it isn't that hard to do.

Haven't had the guts to try the spelt matzoh I bought.

Mollie Stones
164 S. California Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94306

Sunday, March 18, 2007

More movies that don't suck

I'd all but given up hope that all movies suck. I'd hit a good 4-6 week spell of watching crap. Then came Fast Food Nation. Now Borat and Word Wars. Three for three.

I'd wanted to hate Borat. My other half was born in Kazakhstan, so I expected nothing funny about the country. Instead Sacha Cohen speaks like a Slav and shows a town not filled with Kazaks. The film goes from bad to worse, showing how stupid Americans are.

Word Wars highlights 4 Scrabble Players preparing for the 2002 National Championship. I now appreciate for the intricacies of Scrabble. I have also found something scarier than computer geeks - Scrabble geeks.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce

I've read the book, now I've seen the movie. The movie did a good job creating a story based on a factual book. The major bad of the movie were numerous scenes that were slow.

Can't imagine people chowing down on meat after the slaughterhouse scenes.

Monday, March 12, 2007


You can't hate Ozzy or his wife Sharon. You couldn't look away from The Osbournes, it felt like viewing a train wreck in-progress.

Sharon writes about her life, and you wonder about her sanity, denial and ability to think. She loves having expensive jewelery in a cute case and gets robbed 3 times (time to ditch the cute jewelery cabinet, get a safe!) Ozzy cracked up on drugs and other women. Ozzy trying to stangle her. Ozzy in rehab more times than Britney Spears. Sharon porking out and getting a ring around her tummy to combat it. Sharon's showbiz dad taking advantage of her.
Nannies gone bad. Managing bands that didn't appreciate her work. And more...

saggar me this

Pulled these two out of a saggar firing last week. Saggar firings are low firing, and these pieces are not water tight. They were fired with banana peels, sea salt, sea weed, copper "dust," sawdust, pine cones and needles and wood collected from a friend's back yard. The piece on the right hand side was thrown as two pieces, the round clay body and the spout.

Since last week I've been visiting Whole Foods for banana peels, and purchased a large bag of cat food for the next firing.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

so cute!

I've been playing with negative space in my ceramics work over the last few days. Found J Mendicino's page today. While the work is a bit more art deco/Scandinavian design than I usually go for, I really like it!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

peanut brittle

Inspired by Mark Bittman's peanut brittle video, we decided to try it at home. It really was as easy as he said it would be! To start, we roasted peanuts in the toaster oven.

Then we warmed sugar in a pan over very low heat. While the sugar was carmelizing, we greased a baking sheet with butter. Once the sugar was carmelized we turned off the heat and mixed in the peanuts in with a pinch of salt.

We didn't account for the sugar hardening as soon as the heat was off. With maximum effort we quickly mixed and spread the mixture on the baking sheet to set.

Cleaning the pan used for melting sugar was not discussed in Mark's video. I added water, heated the water to an almost boil (liquefying the sugar) and dumped the mixture into the sink.

Saturday, March 3, 2007


Two early 20th century magicians battle it out.

When not producing large number of "Zzzzzzz"s and drool, I kept thinking hey that's Wolverine (Jackman), Patrick Batemen (Christian Bale), Maj. Celliers (David Bowie) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson).

Nice star studded cast. A costumer's dream. Snooze of a movie.

for you trendy cup carriers

For you latte carrying posers, this shirt from Unicorn Burger has your number.

egging on oakville

Chowhound discussed the SF Oakville Market's closing and ponderings if the other stores were doomed. I was in need of a bottle of wine yesterday for a dinner party, and needed to stop by the Stanford Mall, so I decided to check on Oakville.

Side Note: Oakville has been at the Stanford Mall for as long as we've lived in the area (16+ years). We think it is the best place on the Peninsula to get cheese.

The store was very empty at 4pm on a Friday, and I don't mean people empty. The wine racks were almost bare and the olive bar covered with snacks. I was scared!

The wine guy gave me reqs for a bottle for dinner. At the same time he calmed my fears, saying he just got $12K worth of wine in and was starting to put it out on the floor. He got the guy (running the cheese department??) at the cheese counter to bring out the olives for me. Never had an olive bar set up in my honor! The cheese guy said he was new. He'd ordered new olives, cornichons, almonds and vegetables for the olive bar and hadn't set them out yet. He felt Oakville was in a rut ordering the same olives for years. The new olives were quite good, minus the dry cured ones, which were mealy. There was something un-sexy seeing the olives come out of plastic countainers, or worse yet cans and then placed into yuppified white bowls for selection. I know that is how the olives are shipped, but it ruins the experience!

Earlier in the week I stopped at Country Sun to pick up a container of Yokohl Valley Ranch eggs. Country Sun is the only vendor to carry them locally. They are the only local free range eggs outside of a farmer's market that I have found in the Peninsula. Shipments to Country Sun are infrequent, so best to call if you want some.

Oakville Grocery Palo Alto
715 Stanford Shopping Center
Palo Alto, CA 94304
(650) 328-9000

Country Sun Natural Foods
440 S. California Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650) 324-9190

chewing @ chef chu's

We dined at Chef Chu's with an old friend and her ex-pastry chef buddy the other night. The ex-chef had some hilarious stories to share about working for the upper ranks of the US government.

We started with a vegetarian hot and sour soup. The soup had good flavor, but it relied too heavily on pepper for heat. Our dining companions, one being from the mid-West, the other from the East Coast, were not use to that much pepper in their food, enjoying the soup, and mopping their brows.

After the soup we had vegetarian goose and spicy pickled cucumber. The veg goose reminded me of mock duck that I'd had elsewhere, only more dense and more 'meat like' flavoring. The cucumbers are always good, but sweeter than spicy.

Next came the special lobster in sauce with noodles, all pieces and parts of the lobster proudly displayed. Everyone else said the dish was delish!

At this point everyone was ready for a bucket to make room! Out came a whole fish, deep fried, topped with a spicy sauce, my veg Singapore "style" noodles, seasonal asparagus sauteed with garlic and the kid's candied pecans with prawns. I can only attest for the asparagus and noodles, they were quite good.

Everyone shared an order of fried banana with ice cream for dessert.

Dinner was pretty good. Chef Chu's is not the ultimate destination for Chinese food in the Bay Area, but it is good and always consistent.

Chef Chu's
1067 N. San Antonio Road
Los Altos, CA 94022

Thursday, March 1, 2007

bagel breakfast

Stopped at Izzy's this morning for 2 bagel sticks, one for me, one for the kid. We agreed we should have gotten everything bagels instead, they have garlic and more salt.

Izzy's makes the best bagels on the Penninsula. I'm sure the SF store makes the best ones in SF.

Izzy's Brooklyn Bagels
477 S California Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 329-0700

la luz de jesus show

Quick plug for La Luz de Jesus' 10th Annual "Everything But The Kitschen Sync" Group Show. Pieces by new and established artists. There is no theme. Show opens Friday, pictures of pieces already up. Check them out!

La Luz de Jesus
4633 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027